Pac-Man World Review

By: John Doe

Can anyone believe it's been twenty years since Pac-Man showed up on these shores? Where has the time gone? Oh yeah, it's gone to me looking twenty years older, I forgot. On the eve of the games' twentieth anniversary, Namco has released Pac-Man World, which it turns out, is worthy of the Pac-Man name. This is no "cash-in-on-the-name-rip-off"; Pac-Man World stands on it's own two yellow legs.


Side-scrolling action games are a definite thing of the past, so maybe it is fitting that this game falls into that category. It's not all 2D and it's not quite 3D; it's more along the lines of 2.5 D and yes, it manages to be a lot of fun. As the yellow pie shaped hero - the idea came to the creator after removing a piece of pizza from a circular pie; true story! - you must rescue all of your pals from the evil Toc-Man. You'll have to run, fly, jump, swim, bounce and zoom your way through the levels, all the while eating those delicious dots and swallowing the odd power-pill to make short work of those relentless ghosts: Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde or wait is that, Sue? You'll also have to collect fruit to open the corresponding door. As you can see, this game takes all of the elements of the original Pac-Man game and makes it work in the side-scrolling genre.

If the whole side-scrolling thing just doesn't do it for you, then try out the Classic mode and the Mazes Mode. The Classic mode is just that; the original game which can also be found on Namco's Museum Vol. 1 game. Mazes are updated 3D mazes which will entertain you with some cool new ideas. As you complete mazes in Quest mode, they unlock in Maze mode, eventually doubling the number of levels from 18 to 36. That'll keep you busy for a while. I can't even get on the PlayStation right now as my wife has taken it hostage. As many of you know from past reviews, my wife rarely (and I mean, rarely) plays games, but she actually requested to play Pac-Man World. She even played the Quest mode. I have never seen her play a side-scrolling game in my life! And at last attempt to get back on my machine, she was doing quite well. There could be no better advertisement for this game other than "John Doe's Wife Likes It." I'm not kidding.

Visually Pac-Man's world is quite colorful and vibrant; think of Crash Bandicoot and you'll be very close. As already mentioned, the P-Man has a decent amount of moves, including the ever-popular butt-stomp, which has become an action game staple. The control is downright perfect. Jumping, swimming, bouncing and zooming are never awkward and the game ramps up in difficulty very gradually, making it the perfect game for all players. There are 6 levels to tackle in the Quest mode and as previously mentioned, 36 Mazes to eventually play, which adds up to a decent amount of playing time. Throw in the original game and you've got a well-rounded package.

The music in the Quest and Maze modes is very whimsical and light which suits the non-threatening gameplay to a tee. It's so boppy and happy that it's not even annoying; it just reminds you of the days when games were all kind of like this. Of course even the new games feature the familiar "waka-waka" sounds. I defy anyone to not recognize that sound. It's a piece of pop culture now.

Complaint Dept. The biggest complaint is the un-originality of it all. Everything in the Quest mode has pretty much been done before. You aren't going to see anything that you haven't seen countless times over unless you are a new gamer. It's nice to see the original elements of the game interspersed throughout the new adventure, but in the end it may not be enough to hold everyone's attention. Still the game plays well and that's what counts.

Excluding most gamers bent on bloodshed and wanton destruction, most will find something to like in Pac-Man World.. If you don't dig the Quest, then you'll like the Mazes and if that's not to your liking then there is always Classic mode. If you don't like that, well then, you're too darned jaded. I'd definitely recommend a whirl with this game, you may find it the missing link between the gaming sexes.






Back To PlayStation Index